Xīwàng is in North China looking after a young prince, who has already had his life threatened twice by his brother, the current emperor, who is too young to really rule the country, so really it is the eunuchs who in reality are ruling and seem to be persuading him to go against his own brother, by making claims of treason, but none of it is true.
Xīwàng has been staying with the young prince at the winter palace for nearly a month and has watched the poor man’s health deteriorate. He knows the only thing he can do to help restore Ju-long to his former self, is to convince the emperor his dear brother is not going against him, it is all lie. However, the Necrosis Deity knows all too well the young man will not listen as he believes the eunuchs word over a gods, which makes Xīwàng question why is he on the throne?
The Dragon Order thought the young prince would be save at the winter palace with it being high in the mountains and at least a months journey from the summer palace... But they were wrong. On a beautiful summers morning the prince is found convulsing on his bedroom floor. The maid raises the alarm and Xīwàng comes running into the room.
“Oh my goodness, he’s been poisoned,” he says, placing a hand on the young man’s chest.
The maid watches the god with fascination as he seems to draw the poison out of the prince’s stomach with nothing but his hands, making him vomit.
“Can you save him?” she asks her voice full of worry.
“I might... If I knew what poison was used and how it was administered,” replies Xīwàng as he pats the young man’s back. “That’s it cough it up, dear boy.”
The maid helps him to lie the prince down, then they start to check the tea cup and teapot for any signs of poison, but find nothing.
“Tell me my dear, did Ju-long eat anything?”
The maid shakes her head and Xīwàng goes on to check the young man’s body for anything which would resemble an insect bite and finds nothing. “How have you been poisoned my child?”
Then the maid spots a stain on the pillow and quickly shows it to the god. The moment he sniffs it Xīwàng mutters, “Tansy oil...”
“Sorry my dear. Tansy oil is also known as Chrysanthemum vulgare. In a large amount this can kill... And there is nothing I can do to counteract it,” replies Xīwàng with a shake of his head. “We will just have to see if he pulls through...” However the Necrosis Deity knows in his weakened state it is highly unlikely the young prince will survive and begins to question how could this have happened, when the palace is surrounded by guards.
Once he has got Ju-long comfortable, he begins an investigation of the palace, he even searches the roof to make sure none of the tiles above the prince’s room have been disturbed, but there is nothing...which can only mean one thing, someone within the palace is behind it and knows if the vile the poison was in, had not been tightly sealed, the person would smell as Tansy oil is quite pungent, this makes Xīwàng start to use his powerful sense of smell on the guards and staff, he even searches their rooms. But again he finds nothing which makes no sense, unless the prince wanted to end his life?
This makes him return to the young man to find the maid is holding the princes hair back whilst he is being sick. “When did this start?”
“A moment ago... I sent someone to find you, my lord.”
“It’s all right, my dear,” replies Xīwàng, placing his hand upon the young man’s back and closes his eyes. “His stomach is completely empty, it’s the Tansy oil... That’s it calm down, my dear boy.”
The prince flops back into the gods arms and Xīwàng lies him down, then he goes on to inform the maid what he believes has happened which makes her gasp.
“I think he has grown tired of his brother threatening his life,” says the Necrosis Deity stroking the princes forehead.
“That’s just awful,” mutters the maid with her hands over mouth.
“I just wish there was a way we could get the emperor to stop his foolishness and listen to us gods.”
“I’m sure you will find away.”
Xīwàng raises his eyebrows and replies, “We can only hope my dear. Anyway, you may go and get cleaned up,” pointing to his hand to her left sleeve.
The young lady sees that it is covered in vomit and replies, “Yes, back in a mo.”
“Don’t worry I’ll watch over him.”
The maid nods and trots out of the room.
Miraculously the prince survives and Xīwàng finds out he would never try to take his own life, which makes them suspect again someone within the palace did it and hid all evidence of their crime. However, this latest attempt on the prince’s life, leaves its mark, he starts to suffer with fits and Xīwàng finds the poison has caused lasting damage to the liver and kidneys; even his respiratory system has been affected.
When the news reaches The Dragon Order, Lord Lone immediately responds by having the prince taken to a secluded hut, hidden in the thick forests of eastern China and the emperor is to be informed Ju-long had died.
Slowly over time the prince becomes tired of the isolation and decides to head out into the forest and soon finds himself in a clearing. He can see a wild deer is busy munching the long grass and bees are busy collecting nectar. Taking a seat on a small boulder he continues to watch the deer, when suddenly it takes off making Ju-long on edge... Could the palace guards have found him? He starts to listen, but all he can hear is the wind blowing through the trees.
To be continued...ns22.214.171.124da2